Cult-like ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ office above Poundland with ’15-hour shifts’

A "Wolf of Wall Street-like" office above a Poundland was allegedly the scene of a "dystopian cult" job with 15-hour shifts.

Generation South Wales is a sales company based in Cardiff that would allegedly sell a job as one thing before workers were exposed to door-to-door sales work and zero-hour contracts.

Martin Hayfield told Wales Online that he can remember his excitement when he landed a job with the company, before it went sour.

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"It felt like the biggest moment of my life," said the 26-year-old, who had previously been working as a delivery cyclist. "I rang my parents to say I'd got it."

He claims his interviewers had depicted "an amazing job that everyone wanted" after he answered an ad for a permanent role based in Cardiff city centre with a salary of up to £25,000 and 'performance bonus' for additional pay.

He wasn't sure what "lead generation" or "objection handling" would actually involve, but he was told he had beaten 30 others to the position of "trainee sales and marketing assistant".

It was, according to former workers, not mentioned that their pay would be zero if they did not make sales, or that they would have to pay for petrol and accommodation while travelling across the UK, sometimes sharing beds with colleagues in tiny Airbnbs.

Generation's owner Roel Mojico has denied these allegations.

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Scenes that unfolded each morning in Generation's office above a Cardiff Poundland have been likened to "something out of the Wolf of Wall Street", from claims of blaring dance music to intense swear-filled pep talks.

The words "cult-like" and "dystopian" kept coming up in WalesOnline's interviews with people who claiming their mental health suffered from their time at Generation.

One 22-year-old woman said she was never paid at all despite more than a month of work that left her ill, but she still found herself feeling guilty afterwards.

"They really put it on you," she said. "I felt it was my fault for not making money."

Mr Mojico claims he "always strived to treat members of the Generation team – consultant or otherwise – kindly and compassionately". He said the scenes that unfolded were "typical" of a sales environment.

Mr Mojico said Generation's workers were not actually staff – they were "self-employed contractors".

Job adverts that said the opposite were simply an "oversight", he told Wales Online. "Why would you apply to a sales company if you don't believe you can do sales?" he asked.


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